By Sam Bridge
Organisers postpone Kuwait Health, Safety & Environment Forum following consultations with authorities
A major health and safety summit - planned to be held in Kuwait next week - has been postponed due to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as cases in the country jumped again on Thursday.
A new date for the second Kuwait Health, Safety & Environment Forum, which was to be held from March 2-3 at Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa, Kuwait City, will be announced as soon as possible, organisers said in a statement.
Following consultations with the Kuwait authorities, including the Ministry of Public Health and other government departments, Alain Charles Events decided to postpone the event in line with government directives to contain the outbreak.
Alain Charles Events said it is "fully supportive" of the advice and action currently being taken by Kuwait Government to contain the spread which has seen 26 cases in the country.
The decision comes as Kuwait has confirmed 17 new cases of coronavirus, taking the total number of people diagnosed to 43.
The latest additions were announced by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health at a conference on Thursday morning.
An official from the ministry said all cases involved people who had been to Iran during this month.
A statement from the ministry said that “all infected people are stable and the approved protocols of isolation are administered and all patients receiving the necessary medical care in one of the hospitals prepared and equipped to receive patients."
As with all previous cases, people who were in contact with those who are infected are under house quarantine and are being monitored closely.
On Thursday, Kuwait announced the closure of all schools, colleges and universities from March 1 to 12 as it desperately tries to contain the spread of the virus.
The new cases in Kuwait brings the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in the Middle East to 239: Iran (139), Bahrain (33), UAE (13), Iraq (5), Oman (4) and Lebanon (2).
The worldwide death toll is now at more than 2,800, while the number of infections has topped 80,000.